2011 Honda Odyssey TouringEnlarge Photo
Just for a minute can result in tragedy
When we read about the deaths of young children left in a locked car it’s easy to be contemptuous or dismissive and tell ourselves that this could never happen to us. We’re more intelligent than that. We strive to protect our children (and our pets) and would never put them in such danger. Yet the deaths do occur each year, despite many parents’ and pet owners’ best intentions. How can this happen? Let’s look at just a few examples.
- A mother is distracted, running errands, thinking about all the things she has to do, in a hurry to get to her destination for one more quick item on her list – and she forgets she has a child in the back seat.
- The baby is sound asleep in his child seat and the mother just needs to dash into the market for milk. It’ll only be a few minutes, so she leaves the child sleeping and locks the door.
- Parents leave the family car unlocked in the driveway. One of their young children, playing around in the yard, decides to climb into the vehicle – maybe to hide, or because it’s comfortable. Once inside, the child may become confused about how to operate the locks to get out. The parents are unaware that their child is in distress – until it’s too late.
- A parent – usually the mother – lacks a sitter and has to go to a doctor’s appointment or to work. She leaves her child in the car promising to check in on him regularly. There are plenty of toys and things to keep the child occupied, so it must be safe, the mother reasons. Minutes turn into hours and the result is often tragic.
- Thinking the family dog in the car will serve as protection for a child while a parent goes to talk with a neighbor or is tied up getting the dry cleaning, time slips away and the temperatures inside the vehicle become hazardous to the child and the dog.